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That puts me on pace for making back my investment in less than three months. Of course, my sales could change from here. They could decline, they could also increase. There are some marketing efforts in the works that should help out. To some extent I am still devoting time to marketing the book, but most of these efforts have a purpose beyond just promoting the book. Far more important to me than how quickly I hit either goal is how much money the book makes in my lifetime. ProWritingAid is a powerful suite of over 20 different writing and editing tools.

Copy your draft into their online editor and check grammar, sentence flow, overused words, and more. Try it for free! Sign in Get started. Jun 20, Never miss a story from The Writing Cooperative , when you sign up for Medium. Learn more. Get updates Get updates. But just getting it out there and taking advantage of the reach you get from Amazon is totally worth it. Carol, Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your e-book. And, thank you for bringing in Daniel Hall and opening it up to those of us who are not in The Den.

It was basic, but I got exactly what I felt you promised in the intro.

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Hmm…I have a lot of thinking to do. But, I started editing my manuscript and put it on my writing calendar. Stay tuned tomorrow for a link to the replay of the Webinar…which turned out to be 2 whole hours with a ton of Kindle publishing tips. I was very disappointed by the webinar you promoted here. I felt like I was sitting through a timeshare presentation from the 80s! Now tell me how many paper documents you can still read from then. Do you still have a Palm device, for example?

Fewer than ten years and they, and everything on them, essentially became obsolete. Thirty years ago we were told we would have paperless offices within the decade. What are the odds something like that will happen in 18 months? I really want to apologize. And I am really sorry. This just should have been planned as a 2-hour Webinar, clearly, and I would have liked to have known that up front.

Promise fulfilled there. And yes, that would mean Orthodox Jews are not reading your book on that day. Obviously, print books still have many uses…but I have gotten complaints that my ebook is only a PDF and not available on the Kindle. Just got off…insane amount of useful info. Great post, Carol. I am sooo looking forward to the webinar on Wednesday. I am working on a series of ebooks; but with the intention of combining them into one big book with each booklet representing a chapter once they are all complete. Maybe I should keep them all separate? Who can know it all? So thank you for this.

Coming from the music industry and I know you know a little about that topic , they were quite certain the CD would live forever and they could just continue to reap their profits off the backs of the artists. But the same recording and distribution technology that became available and affordable to the lay person, which created the DIY music artist and forshadowed the death of the music biz is we knew it, is about to do the same to the conventional book publishing biz. Promise to let all your readers know when that happens.

Sounds great Sean — definitely let me know. I know everyone is super-interested in how we can all jump on the digital publishing revolution and profit from it. Yeah, we do love free stuff. Like you at least before , PDF is the only ebook format I can make an ebook. Glori S. Great post and great insight on how to get your ebooks published and where.

Thought I should publish as a. With the ever-changing audiences and readers demanding more for less, it really is important to be so progressive. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Carol. Always great to know how the experts have cleared the pathway to help the rest of us move forward with a little less struggle. Thanks for sharing. Well yes. Thanks for the great info. Especiallly helpful was the idea of creating a series. So short works for me. I am in the midst of an ebook creation on a Faith Based Path to Happiness, and I will be putting your valuable advice and expertise to use.

Thanks so much for helping writers gain a foothold in our niche and grow! Kim recently posted… Finding gratitude amidst the storm. Carol… like John Soares, I recognize everything you say here. In our defense, the ebook game has changed so quickly… can you here me panting trying to keep up? Great article.. This is very helpful for everyone.

How Much It Really Cost Me to Publish a Kindle Book

Your experiences will serve as a good tip for everyone who is planning to make an ebook too, very informative and detailed. Thanks for sharing! But I get the sense that my teenage son would be fine with the Kindle on the beach…or listening to a book on headphones, or some such. So I look at him, and I see the future. I know! OK, I do know what I was thinking: I would write this long ebook masterpiece that contained everything I ever learned about freelancing.

Great tips, Carol. Thanks for sharing your experience. Now there are companies offering to do a lot of that legwork for writers. Funny you should say that. I have a collaboration with one ebook publishing house where they DO take care of it for me.

It was a great post. As the Internet has gotten larger and more prolific, it can be difficult to research and find the exact information you need. Ebooks have filled this need with instant, tailored information, delivered for a price. Publishing an ebook is much easier than publishing a paper book, and it can pay even better. Check out the 10 mistakes she made publishing her first eBook, and what she learned from […]. There are many challenges facing those who want to publish their own eBooks, and one of them is the …ion online.

As you may know, eBooks have many purposes, and that is great because it gives you […]. It sounded so empowering. No editor! No waiting! So I set out to write one. It sorta took forever. I was so excited. There was only one problem… I had no idea what I was doing So I made a lot of mistakes. The sad truth is, I could have made much, much more on my ebook. Even worse, by blowing out all my info in one book, I had no followup book to upsell the writers who bought the first book.

I just had a one-off product. Again, I probably would have done better publishing a smaller ebook at a lower price. It should have been split. The book has three sections — how to write for publications, copywriting, and blogging. I could have created a cool Make a Living Writing ebook series, strengthened my brand, and had more products to sell. Also, splitting it up likely would have gotten the first one done faster and allowed me to start earning sooner. Not enough specifics. No setup for sequels. My title says it covers this entire century.

What was I thinking?

141 responses to “#1 on Amazon: An Ebook Marketing Guide for Self Publishers”

The release of the new edition would have generated new interest and sales each year. No related Webinars or classes. You also love live trainings, where you can get your personal questions answered by experts. Look for me to create ebooks from some of my courses and Den bootcamps in the future to rectify this problem. Next to no marketing. I really had no idea how to market an ebook. OK, I built a little interest with a few blog posts about the content. It was pretty minimal. So there was no big explosion of initial sales.

I did not have the vaguest idea how to digitally publish an ebook. Rather than try to figure it out, I wanted to just do a PDF.

I knew how to get a designer to make me a PDF, so I did that. The world of digital publishing for the Kindle and Nook and all the other ways completely confused me. So I ignored it. Or maybe you just need to keep blogging for another year or two to build up enough material and reputation. Self-publishing is a business activity. Keep that in mind at all times. Keep good financial records. Record all your expenses and income. A simple spreadsheet or ledger will be good enough, as long as you keep it up to date and file your receipts.

Before you start writing the book, you have to make some basic decisions. You can do it yourself, or you can use a distributor on the web. A distributor makes many things easier, for a cut of the sales. The main advantage of doing it yourself is that you keep most of the money.

How to Self-Publish Your First Book: Step-by-step tutorial for beginners

Another is that people may be less comfortable buying from your site than from a well-known seller. This could make them reluctant to hand over credit card information. This can be the same site as your blog, if you have appropriate software and a payment processing service.

WordPress with WooCommerce lets you sell downloadable products. A less labor-intensive approach is to use an e-commerce service that simplifies selling online like Shopify or Volusion.

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Many of them charge a monthly fee, which could wipe out your income if you sell just a few books a month. One possibility is Wix with an add-on app for selling downloads, Gumroad and e-Junkie are also worth looking at. If you use e-commerce hosting, should you use your own domain? If the service gives you that option, you could use the domain store. You have a reputation as a good writer, but the host has a reputation as a sales channel. Being your own distributor has its headaches. A lot of writers prefer to sell through an ebook distributor, accepting a smaller fraction of the sales income in exchange for having to do less.

The distributor will convert files to needed formats, take care of sales, manage downloads, and pay you the agreed percentage of the gross sales income. It will let you create coupon codes and special sales. If people buy a book similar to yours, your book may come up as a recommendation.


These services are typical. Not every distributor provides the same services. Payment details vary. Remember: A distributor is not a publisher. It takes no responsibility for the content of your book.

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It will publish anything that meets its minimal standards, such as being properly formatted and complying with the law. You still carry a lot of responsibility. Not necessarily. Books sold in bookstores and libraries need an ISBN for tracking. Your distributor may provide you with an ISBN as a service. They get very inexpensive in bulk, so the distributor can get it a lot cheaper than you can.

It provides a common point of reference for all sellers and may even give your listing a search engine boost. In fact, some sites that sell books require it. Should you think about crowdfunding your book? Very possibly. It gives you advance publicity and helps to gauge the level of interest. If your campaign succeeds, you get money to make your book a better one. Each of them has its own approach. Flexible funding lets you proceed whether you meet your goal or not. To run a successful campaign, you need to engage your community.

You need the support of your core following to contribute money and spread the word. Premiums are a big part of the campaign. All contributors over a low threshold should get a free copy of the book. Higher-level premiums can include acknowledgment in the book and on your website, personalized thank-you cards, and printed copies.

A generous donor took her up on it, and she delivered on her promise! Writers have achieved great success with crowdfunding, and you can too if you do it right. At a minimum, you need a skilled proofreader. If possible, get the services of a copy editor. Even if your sales expectations are modest, a good cover will pay for itself in a short time. Your blog might include guest contributions, comments, quotations, and images incorporated from other sites. You need to ask them. They might be thrilled. If they say no, respect their choice. You can include short quotations as Fair Use, but extensive quoting requires permission.

Setting the right price for your book is important. Giving away the book is sometimes the right option. This approach works only if you have a really strong community presence, but it simplifies a lot. Some distributors will let buyers choose their own price, from zero to whatever they want to pay. The usual strategy, though, is to set a price and be generous with discount codes. This means setting the price high enough to discount. Make these business decisions before starting your book. For most authors, an e-book distributor is the best way to go.

The distributor handles a lot of the complexities. The question is which one is best for you. Most distributors use the EPUB format, which many reader applications support. It lets people view books on many different devices, adapting the formatting to the screen size. For flexibility and wide distribution, Smashwords is a good choice. It not only sells books directly but makes them available through many other channels.

Its arrangement with OverDrive may let you get your book into libraries.